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Obedience training effects on search dog performance

By Michael Ben Alexander, Ted Friend, Lore Haug

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Competent search dogs should be accurate, reliable, and work independently, yet be responsive to handler commands. The aim of this study was to identify training factors that contribute to producing competent search dogs. Demographics, obedience training methods, the age training was initiated, previous canine training experience of the trainer, and time spent training were determined using 177 responses to an online survey accessible through the National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA). Achievement of a national or state certification was used as a measure of performance success. Positive reinforcement methods were used by 72% of the respondents with a nationally certified dog. Women respondents utilized positive reinforcement training methods (P=0.004) more than men. Responses indicated a preference for beginning obedience training early and using positive reinforcement; however, maturation of the dog increased the use of compulsive training aids (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 132
Issue 3
Pages 152-159
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.04.008
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Canine
  2. training
  3. Working animals